Over lockdown we have lost and gained many things. Within my neighbourhood we have gained an overwhelming sense of community, yet we have also gained a rise in petty crime. Including bike and car theft. However when we began to question wether Surrey really is as safe is we think and our padlocks as efficient as sold. The house bound homes of Surbiton came together in order to do some detective work. How you ask? Well, with thanks to Jamie Siminoff’s ring doorbell a motorbike was brought back to its rightful owner.


Since the start of the pandemic, we have all found innovative and new ways to stay connected. On my street our solution was to create a neighbourhood WhatsApp group. It’s called the neighbours support group and has really been a member of our lockdown journey. 


Anouki (a member of our road) started it on 15th March 2020, stating that it’s “ a support group for us as a place to support each other during this crazy madness”. It started out with the purpose of being “a place to say if you need any shopping, any medication or just a bit of a chat”. However it’s turned into something much larger than that (I wouldn’t go as far as saying a mini police department though). 

With what started as 5 household has grown and grown into 19. 


As with most middle class streets in Surbiton we do not fall short of inquisitorial members. But I never really knew the true purpose of being nosy. Turns out it can be put to extremely good use. As I discovered, grandparents and parents have been lying to us for a very long time about their struggles and incompetencies when it comes to tech. As it turns out they might even be smarter than us millennials when it comes to technology because I sure as hell don’t know how to track down a bike thief using my doorbell camera.


On Wednesday 8th of September a bike was stolen from a neighbouring house on my street. And they knew what to do. Of course, they turned to Neighbours support group. What else would we do? Based on the tracking device attached to the back of the motorcycle, it was said that the bike left the house at 4:20am, with a message being sent out alerting us to check our footage. Quickly we devised a plan to take footage from every single ring doorbell camera to compose a stock motion movie of the bike being taken and ridden off. Yet nothing was found. That was until Anouki Brownlow a neighbour stated that “I was awoken at 2:41am by a loud alarm and the rev of a bike driving off”. She claimed that the noise shook her so much that she looked at the clock “just in case”. With the thanks of key communication, the citizens of Surbiton managed to solve the crime quicker than many police could and in record time. 


Before you know it, we were clustering in an alley goofy with excitement like a gaggle of children hunting down eggs at Easter. We were giddy with childhood anticipation and quite frankly in disbelief that we had a actually cracked the crime. Down the street we travelled pushing the bike all the way home pushing it up our hill like a prised medal and well, I think that it might as well have been a medal after all they’d done.